Divorce Issues in Bankruptcy

couple with debtMany people who find themselves heading for a divorce will also need to talk to someone about financial issues.  Deciding what to do with joint debts, individual debts, vehicle loans, mortgages, and other bills can be confusing and overwhelming, especially when you are also dealing with the end of a marriage.  Sometimes filing a bankruptcy can be the best solution.  If you find yourself in this situation it’s a good idea to speak with a bankruptcy attorney about your option

 Who needs to file and when?

An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you decide if it’s best to file together or separately, prior to the divorce or after the divorce is final. If there are not any conflicts of interest between the spouses, filing together prior to the divorce can be a simpler way to deal with joint debts and the division of debts.   When there are conflict of interest, filing individually is the best option, and you and your spouse may need to find separate attorneys.  Sometimes it is best to wait to file an individual bankruptcy after the divorce is final.  This can be especially true when there is real estate and other assets to divide.  Because there are so many options to consider, it is best to talk with an attorney who can help you make the decision that is best in your case.

What about child and spousal support?

Child support and spousal support cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.  That means once someone is ordered to pay it, they have to pay whether they file for bankruptcy protection or not. And, it doesn’t matter what kind of bankruptcy is filed because these types of debts will not go away in either a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy or a Chapter 13 repayment plan.  Other types of debts, like property settlements and equalizing judgments cannot be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy but can be discharged in a Chapter 13.  Speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney is the best way to avoid confusion and help you to be as informed as possible about what will happen with your finances as a result of divorce.

Speaking with a bankruptcy attorney can provide some answers and some peace of mind regarding your finances during the stressful and emotional divorce process.  Our attorney provide free consultations to help you decide whether bankruptcy is right for you.  Call us to set up a free, confidential initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options at (541) 683-6652 or toll-free at 888-366-8350.

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Divorce and Bankruptcy…Which Comes First?

Unfortunately, divorce and bankruptcy often go hand-in-hand.  Long-term financial struggles can be a significant cause of stress between couples, and can be a major factor in the choice to divorce.  Divorce creates additional financial stresses and added living expenses, which can lead recently-divorced people into bankruptcy.  We often have clients who are separated or considering divorce come to us and ask, “Which should I do first…complete the divorce, or file for bankruptcy?”

The answer can be complex, and depends on a number of factors.  Firdivorcest, who is responsible for the debts?  If the debts are all in one partner’s name, and there will be no distribution of debt or property in the divorce, it may not matter which comes first.  On the other hand, if there will be negotiation about who is responsible for the debt after the divorce or how assets will be divided, it’s a good idea to talk to an experienced bankruptcy attorney who can advise you on what types of debt may be discharged in a bankruptcy.  If necessary, your bankruptcy attorney can discuss your case with your divorce attorney to ensure that both matters are handled properly.

If you have questions or believe that bankruptcy and divorce might be in your future, give us a call to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation.  We can talk to you about timing, joint debts, and distribution of debts in divorce.  Give us a call at (541) 683-6652 or toll-free (888) 366-8350 to set up a free initial consultation so we can help you develop a timeline to manage your divorce and bankruptcy matters.

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